Construction Workforce Management: Digitization

Construction Workforce Management

There’s no company in any industry that has succeeded without spreadsheets. Let’s briefly pause to say, “Bless you, Excel. You’ve served us well.” But spreadsheets are not the answer to construction workforce management. As working-at-home and the need for social distancing continues into 4Q 2020, digitizing construction workforce management is even more necessary.

Say goodbye to your monthly/weekly spreadsheets. You need up-to-date information when and where it’s needed.

Stop Supervising and Start Managing

Technology has become a bridge for overcoming the distance
of a team working remotely.
Ben Schultz

Spreadsheets encourage us to work alone. Digitization forces us to collaborate, share, and communicate. And that’s the best way to manage your business. About 90% of all spreadsheets have errors serious enough to trigger:

  • Faulty forecasting
  • Labor shortages
  • Overruns

Because your team is mobile, you need to be able to access information from anywhere, anytime. Your project site personnel should be able to quickly access the same analytics available to your accounts payable/receivable professional working from their home office. And you don’t want statistics that apply to your construction workforce management situation 10 days ago.

You can manage the following using shareable, intuitive, cloud-based construction workforce management software in real-time:

  • Accounting
  • Employees
    • Availability
    • Certification
    • Current wage
    • Location
  • Time-tracking

Ask other successful companies what kind of cloud-based software they recommend. But remember – what works for their organization may not be a good fit for your team.

Getting Started: How To ‘Digitize’

Review and prioritize your organization’s pain points, which may include:

  • Information-sharing delays between the project site and office
  • Inefficient performance measurements/management
  • Insufficient risk management
  • Paper documents – who has what/where
  • Project planning getting more complex

Whatever paper forms you use most often should be the first you digitize.

If employee retention is among your construction workforce management goals, digitization increases mobile workforce efficiency. “Mobile” forms work on mobile devices – like cellphones – which make it convenient for workforce management teams.

We Digitize; You Analyze

Construction Monitor has only one digitization goal: To provide profit-generating information relevant to your organization. We will breakdown the data to the location, sector, and industry-specific area(s) your business wants to develop.

Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact us today.

Exoskeletons Address 4 Construction Industry Pain Points

Construction Industry Pain Points

One in every 10 construction workers is injured annually…construction sees non-fatal injury rates that are 71% higher than any other industry. How Powered Exoskeletons Can Alleviate…

Labor shortages and injuries have hit our industry hard in 2020. While many companies are just getting powered-up using software solutions that save time and money, others are looking at hardware possibilities.

In the animal kingdom, an exoskeleton is a type of shell that protects an animal’s body. Snails and shrimp are good examples of species with exoskeletons. In the construction industry, exoskeletons are wearable technology. They may become – in reality – lifesavers for construction companies.

4 Construction Industry Challenges

Ten years ago, the concept was material for science fiction. But the exoskeleton market for the construction industry is expected to exceed $11.5 billion 10 years from now.

Mechanical and electrical exoskeletons support:

  • Arm/shoulder
  • Back
  • Hands/gloves
  • Standing/crouching
  • Whole-body

Here are four main areas exoskeletons can bolster the construction industry:

1. Enhance Productivity

Worker fatigue equals lost production and the more exhausted we are, the more injury-prone we become. Manufacturing and agriculture have increased productivity 10-15 times since the 1950s. The construction industry productivity numbers are the same as 80 years ago. Exoskeletons streamline the process and lessen transport delays. They also reduce downtime spent waiting for last-minute deliveries.

2. Provide Labor Shortage Solutions

Labor-saving exoskeletons can help one worker do the heavy lifting of a team. This optimizes social distancing but increases employment opportunities. Physical strength will play a less important role. Older, experienced employees can work longer. Smaller/underweight workers are no longer at a physical disadvantage.

3. Reduce Injury Risks

When cranes/hoists are too big, lifting heavy objects and materials in tight spaces requires people-power. Exoskeletons won’t give construction industry workers “superpowers,” but they can reduce fatigue, increase productivity, and lower injury risks.

4. Save Money

The numbers are impressive: An exoskeleton can increase per-worker productivity 4-8 times. And with injuries averaging $32,000 per incident, construction industry profit margins are often – to put it bluntly – a crapshoot.

What You Need To Know

All you need to know is everything. And it can be overwhelming. Construction Monitor’s support team ensures your data analytics are current and pertinent. Let us provide the lead-generation data that gives you an information edge in the construction industry. Contact Construction Monitor today.

Modern Construction Projects and Futuristic Materials

Modern Construction Projects

We have more materials choices for modern construction projects. And we’re developing better options for strength and longevity. It’s an exciting time!

Durability is the ability to last a long time without significant deterioration. A durable material helps the environment by conserving resources and reducing wastes and the environmental impacts of repair and replacement. –Portland Cement Association

Modern construction projects are already using technology to make better business choices. As the focus on more durable buildings and roadways increases, here are some of the materials we’ll see trending:

1. Cigarette-Butt Bricks

If you’re like many, seeing cigarette butts on the ground is disgusting. It pollutes the view and the ingredients (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and nickel) contaminate the soil. Researchers are developing energy-efficient bricks using cigarette butts. The bricks are lighter and use less energy in the manufacturing process.

2. Concrete Admixtures

“A holistic view needs to be taken about concrete durability,” says NBM&CW magazine. Mineral admixtures are providing strength-driven solutions for HPC (high-performance concretes) and SCC (self-compacting concretes). Today’s typical concrete can have six or more ingredients.

3. Light-Generating Cement

This newly developed cement can absorb and generate light. The potential for this invention is huge.

4. Martian Concrete

Northwestern University is researching construction projects on Mars using available materials. And they’ve come up with a Martian concrete mixture using sulfur.

5. Pollution-Absorbing Bricks

It’s called the Breathe Brick and it sucks-in pollutants and releases filtered air. You’ll see these bricks incorporated into buildings’ ventilation systems.

6. Translucent Wood

This low-cost resource can be used for windows and solar panels. There will be many application ideas for translucent wood in modern construction projects.

Construction Monitor for Modern Construction Projects Leads

Technological solutions are driving business development for modern construction projects. Construction Monitor’s analytics are the most efficient, easy-to-use technological resource for thousands of companies nationwide. Contact Construction Monitor to learn why.

What Is Sustainable Construction?

Sustainable Construction

We talk a lot about “sustainability,” but do you know what it means? Today, it’s a combination of the two main definitions of the word.

Sustainability means to last; endure. It also means to exist for as long as possible without depleting natural resources and build in a way that maintains an ecological balance.

Prioritizing Sustainable Construction

Sustainability isn’t simply a nice goal. It’s a process, and one we need for future generations. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) drafted 3 guidelines for building designs and sustainable construction:

  1. Establishing “sustainable” building/product practices should include:
    • Open for all stakeholders
    • Based upon scientific facts 
    • Transparent
    • Up-to-date
  2. Energy efficiency and environmental performance should:
    • Focus on how individual components interact within the building system
    • Identify options to improve energy efficiency
    • Seek ways to reduce overall environmental effects
  3. Environmental considerations and energy efficiency should be balanced with:
    • Performance
    • Price
    • Product availability
    • Product safety

Real-World Sustainable Construction

We know when push comes to shove, the stakeholders in a construction project make the decisions about materials and methodologies. Fortunately for our planet, sustainable construction is more than admirable; it’s affordable.

With today’s technology, materials can be lightweight and cost less while promoting sustainability. Using recycled plastics and laminated timbers can cut our carbon footprint.

We can improve our methodologies, too. Other sustainable construction methods include:

  • Conserving energy
  • Constructing “green” buildings
  • Managing construction sites to improve the environment
    • No smoking
    • Onsite water filtration
    • Recycling bins
  • More precise materials measurements to reduce shortages (and leftovers)
  • Using less to reduce waste

Building Your Business

The future is now. Sustainable construction is a business direction you must take.

Successful construction industry companies embrace green building and technology. Construction Monitor has “big data” for your business, and it’s customized for where you are or where you want to be. For example, if you’re considering expanding sustainable construction options, we’ve got data for using solar as an alternative energy.

Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

Using Construction Technology in the Age of COVID-19

Construction Technology

Without discounting the pain the 2020 pandemic has caused for so many, it’s pretty safe to say most of us are sick of coronavirus. Still, some good things are emerging from these hard times.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to find safer and smarter ways of building homes and offices,” said the World Economic Forum in August 2020.

  • Big data and AI (artificial intelligence) during architectural design and construction process are rapidly transforming construction technology.
  • Digital technology is driving prefab housing. This creates highly sustainable, high-quality housing faster.

9 Focal Points for Post-COVID Construction Technology

Global management authority McKinsey doesn’t mince words when it says the construction industry has performed unsatisfactorily for quite some time. We’ve ignored ecosystem development, even though it accounts for 13% of global GDP (gross domestic products). “Time and costs overruns are the norm,” says a recent report.

The pandemic has accelerated changes we’ve been slow to adopt. Post-COVID-19 construction technology will focus on:

  1. Digitalization
  2. Industrial approaches
  3. Lower costs
  4. New materials
  5. New profit sources
  6. Offsite manufacturing
  7. Skills scarcity
  8. Specialization
  9. Sustainability

Ways We’re Improving Construction Technology

Building Information Modeling (BIM) became more widely used during the pandemic lockdown. We worked on our projects virtually because we weren’t able to work on them in-person. This encouraged more communication and more collaboration.

We’re using AI designs for testing on virtual platforms. We can make smarter, more knowledgeable decisions about costs, requirements, and commitments. We can make those decisions early-on, which speeds up the entire construction process.

Offsite manufacturing is meeting the challenges of less labor onsite due to social distancing. Onsite construction – before COVID-19 – was at best an “uncontrolled environment.” Construction technology can support a safer work environment by analyzing activities and anticipating required worker movements. We can adjust workflows to separate people or create workgroups and shifts to reduce risks.

Construction Monitor: One of the Most Valued Construction Technology Sources in the United States

Every week we compile big data on thousands of U.S. residential, commercial, and solar construction projects nationwide. You can use our information to

  • Follow sales leads
  • Identify competitors, newcomers, and top contractors
  • Make better bids
  • Track construction statistics

Get a free sample edition for your area and contact Construction Monitor us to learn ways construction technology can increase your business.

Heavy Industrial Construction

industrial construction

Two of the main construction services sectors within our industry are non-residential and residential. Within the non-residential sector are three subsectors:

  1. Engineering
  2. Heavy industrial and infrastructure
  3. Institutional and commercial

Heavy Industrial Construction Services: Building ‘Something Amazing’

Working in heavy construction services, “You’ll help to build huge industrial facilities like power plants, refineries, nuclear plants, mines and oil sands installations…” says Careers in Construction. Some of the biggest trucks in the world are on heavy construction job sites. One piece of construction equipment can cost millions of dollars.

Trends: Modularization and Real-Time Data

Construction and input costs for key building materials
(such as steel) are rising, largely driven by limited
supplies and tariff uncertainties.
Deloitte.com

The heavy construction industry has historically low profit margins. The 2020 global pandemic and resulting economic fallout put an even greater strain on U.S. heavy construction profitability. Between that and a shortage of trained employees, heavy construction services industry stakeholders need to better-manage the areas that impact profit margins and end-game profitability.

Module assembly yards providing fabrication and building elements pre-assembly can rapidly transfer construction components to job sites. Modularization can save on onsite labor costs, improve quality control, and shorten project timelines. The end result is the possibility of better safety (avoiding reworks) and costs savings.

Digital technology and real-time information will make the profit difference. Eliminating manual data entry and utilizing identifying trends can save money and time.

“Having state-of-the-art…tools and technologies is becoming a competitive advantage,” says Deloitte. Rather than seek damage control solutions to cost overruns and construction delays, real-time insights can lead to better-informed decision-making.

Real-Time Data for Real-Time Insights

Building permit data is fundamental to understanding construction services trends in your market. We provide customized, weekly reports that can provide insights on where in your world opportunities for business growth exist.

We have an active support team available to answer your questions. Call 800-925-6085, email, or contact Construction Monitor today. Let’s discuss construction data options that will benefit your construction industry business development in the U.S.

Grey Areas: New Home and Renovation Construction Services

There are grey areas in construction services. The United States Census Bureau says the construction industry (for purposes of definition) does not include:

  • Gas/oil drilling, including the construction of offshore drilling platforms, digging/mine shoring of mines
  • Land acquisition
  • Maintenance/repairs to existing structures or service facilities
  • Offsite fabrication
  • Production/machinery cost
  • Special-purpose equipment costs (e.g., pews in churches, lockers in gyms, medical equipment, display cases/shelving in stores)

That’s where we disagree – to a degree. Our construction services client-companies using Construction Monitor building permit datasorts often provide these services.

If you bid on a hospital construction project, the price of X-ray machines won’t be included. But if you quote on a church project, chances are you may be including pew and altar-price options based on design.

Grey Areas

There are no grey areas when it comes to quality and profit. No company compromises safety for greater profit. Choices like that can come back to bite you big-time.

New homes and renovations companies avoid grey areas by specifying and pricing bids as tightly as possible.

Confidence Returning to Home Renovation Market

Remodeling and design construction services are optimistic. Third-quarter 2020 is looking better than 1Q/2Q. Following the 2Q 2020 drop, business indicators are returning to – almost – pre-pandemic levels. We can pat ourselves on the back because we managed this by:

  • Applying remote collaboration tools
  • Dealing with supply-shortages
  • Implementing safety guidelines
  • Increased use of video consultations
  • Using more online product sourcing

New Home Construction Services

Single-family and multifamily housing starts rose 17+% in June 2020. This is a good indicator we’re trying to make up for double-digit declines. The bad news? Lumber costs are also increasing.

Our real estate friends say existing home sales rose 20.7% in June 2020; down from last year. Mortgage applications are rising, too.

Data Analytics for Construction Services Profit

At Construction Monitor, we believe numbers don’t lie. New single-family homes and renovation construction services are playing catch-up; the opportunities are there for you. Join our family of construction industry companies using big data analytics to grow and prosper in unusual times.

9 Questions to Ask When Seeking Construction Software

construction software

We believe the best business development tool for construction industry companies is ours. We have the best data, pre-sorted, and customized for your business and your locale. But to stay alive in today’s techno-business environment, you need additional construction software.

2020 Construction Software Ratings

After it’s said and done, business is business, whether it’s a hot dog stand or a Big 6 corporation. The construction industry is unlike any other. Construction software for operational management should target our needs.

Out of 474 software reviews, many received 4.5 stars and should not be discounted. Here are 50 (of 83) ratings, according to reviews for this year’s 5-star construction software:

Neo Intelligence
CrewTracks
Slenke
K-Ops
Power Tools
Spitfire
Job Dox
Cordell Estimator Platinum
Site2Site
PCS
Construction Inspector
CM Fusion
Bizns Tool Subcontractor Software
Infinitrac
SnapSuite
WenPlan
Site Specs
BOCS
Fresh Projects
onsite.solutions
Fieldly
Mobilengine
Expo-Net
iZak
Riskcast
Realtraker
ONETEAM
Glaass
Samson
TruckIT
Breez Workforce
Copronet
ProPlanner
zbuilder
Breinz
SiteSupervisor
BuilderConsole
eBUILD ERP
Vitruvi
Ed Controls
Goldenseal
Consysa
SmartUse
TradeSoft
CommittedCost
BuildMetric
ClickHome
Hit-Office
Sergeant Schedule
TopBuilder

Nine Questions: Construction Software

Do several comparisons before choosing your construction software. First, define what you most need: project cost estimator, accounts receivable/payable, employee, or equipment tracking? Identify where you need to save time and money. If you are out of control in one or more areas of business operations, make a “where-we’re-losing-it” list.

You don’t have to be an IT (integrated technology) pro, but if you yourself don’t understand the questions, do your homework (or consult the nearest 14-year-old kid). Here are nine questions to ask software vendors:

  1. Can I contact some of your customers?
  2. Can you help us with training and technical support?
  3. Did you develop the solution in-house or did you piece it together from other sources?
  4. Does your software integrate with my old software?
  5. How often will I have to “upgrade?”
  6. Is your software open-source or unified?
  7. What’s the cost of ongoing service and technical support?
  8. Will my – and my clients’ – information be secure?
  9. Will the construction software quickly adapt to industry trends?

Construction Monitor offers BI (business intelligence) for any organization looking to grow. Contact us now with questions about our statistics for lead generation.
___
*Construction Monitor does not recommend nor endorse any Brand of business management software.

Construction Services: Property Plumbing

construction service

We think plumbing is more than “essential service.” Plumbing pros within construction services provide a critical service. 

Plumbing Industry Construction Services Outlook

For a while, new construction was so lucrative everyone that could got into the business. Whole subdivisions were developed using the “cheap and fast” model. Then, the fly-by-night building companies vanished.

That led to HVAC and plumbing professionals focusing on construction services damage control in some areas of the country. Repairs and emergency services will always be a significant source of revenue for our plumbing industry friends.

A new day is dawning because the internet brings knowledge to information-starved property owners. Focus is shifting toward quality construction and energy-saving options, like tankless water heating and shower/sink on-demand water usage.

When the coronavirus-related unemployment rates hit record highs, disposable income vanished for many homeowners. The demand for new plumbing installations and renovations nosedived as well. Before the pandemic, plumbing industry average rate of growth was 2.1%.

It’s difficult to find confident construction services growth predictions. Still, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 10% increase in jobs for construction services-related plumbers and pipefitters. It’s also predicted by 2050 there will be a 50% increase in freshwater demands. 

Commercial Property Plumbing: A New COVID Problem

Plumber Magazine says the risk of Legionella bacteria may increase in buildings that have been sitting empty for months. Legionella bacteria grow in stagnant water.

You may want to contact commercial property owners and managers in your area about additional water testing before they reopen. Even if you don’t provide water-testing among your construction services, this goodwill effort will not go unnoticed. (It could be a subtle marketing promotion for your business.)

Here’s a not-so-subtle way to generate new jobs and relevant leads for your company:

Construction Monitor Can Expand Your Plumbing Industry Outlook

Construction Monitor has construction services building statistics for the U.S. Our team wants your plumbing business to thrive. That’s why we encourage you to utilize the data we provide and use it with intent.

If you need marketing strategies for your plumbing company, contact us today. We aren’t successful until you are.

Understanding Construction Trends in Your Market

Your market is unique as your company. One small company has a baritone. Their work is great; their prices are solid. But some residential renovation businesses say they hire this firm because the guy sings as he works.

The key to success is capitalizing on your uniqueness. Once you understand (and appreciate) who you are, it’s time to understand the construction trends in your market.

FYI: Local Construction Trends Analytics

Successful companies – the ones you want to be when you grow up – are examining construction trends every day. Here are characteristics of home building companies that use construction data:

  • Every employee analyzes information, every day – Construction trends data isn’t something reserved for the family geek. If you can think, you can contribute to company growth.
  • Share and share alike – You may not be in a particular construction segment, but if you run across construction trends in a datasort that will benefit another company, share the information. They’ll return the favor. Networking with as many construction-industry companies is a formula for success.
  • Throw deep, run wide – Data-driven companies acquire more than local construction trends. They use varied information sources to grow their businesses. The more construction trend patterns you can process, the better.

The Best Analytics for Real-Time Leads in Your Market

Where the game used to be won or lost based on instinct and speed, it’s now all about crunching the right numbers.Jonathan Smoke, Metrostudy

Your data analytics should refer to what’s happening in your world, not another company’s in another area. One way to tap into what’s relevant information for where you are is our mapping tool:

  • Automatically count permit activity in a shown area
  • Customize what is shown by search criteria:
    • Contractor
    • Project type
    • Valuation
  • Display which contractors have the most activity in any given area
  • Identify all potential opportunities near you
  • Make digital notes on each project
  • Show all permit activity in the areas you choose

Contact the data analytics professionals at Construction Monitor. We’ll share ways to identify construction trends where you work…or want to work.